This Quesabirria Tacos recipe is an authentic dish that you can learn to make at home and will match the same flavors at your favorite Mexican restaurant. A fully loaded crispy tortilla that is stuffed with loads of cheese and Birria meat and pan-seared until crispy. Serve up with the Birria sauce from the meat, and dive in. Don’t forget the napkins!
This quesabirria recipe is taken the world by storm lately. The crunch from the seared tortilla to the fall-apart meat that is fully flavored with chiles and the rich broth. The dipping sauce throws these quesabirrias into a whole new dimension in terms of flavor.
Now if you love Mexican like us, here are a few other recipes to consider adding to your Taco Tuesday menu plan. Whip up these Mexican shortbread cookies for dessert after dinner. Or try my easy beef enchiladas; they are a simple but satisfying dinner option. Lastly, try out these golden tacos; they are another game-changing recipe.
Table of Contents
What is a Quesabirria Tacos
Let’s start with “quesabirria” This is a mix of two words. Quesa is meaning queso, which is from all the cheese used. Then birria is the meat you will use to fill up the crispy tortilla.
This is a cheesy meat tortilla that is then pan-fried like a quesadilla. Then you will dip in the consomme sauce that you cooked the beef meat in.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Trendy street food that you can make at home for the same out-of-this-world flavor.
- Tender, juicy beef meat that can be used for other recipes if you have leftover meat.
- It uses a handful of ingredients and takes time for the meat to simmer but trust me it is worth it.
- You can use corn or flour tortillas for cooking up the quesadilla.
- Dress with any of your favorite toppings, or eat it plain. It is up to you!
- Makes a lot, so great for parties and family gatherings where you want to feed a crowd.
What is in Quesabirria Tacos
- Oil – Avocado or olive oil.
- Onion – White, quartered.
- Tomatoes – Quartered.
- Garlic – Peeled and left whole.
- Chiles – Dried ancho, dried guajillo, and de arbol, seeded and stems removed.
- Broth – Beef broth, divided.
- Beef – Chuck roast, cubed.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, Mexican Oregano, Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Ground Cinnamon, Bay leaves.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Tortillas – Yellow Corn or flour.
- Cheese – Oxaca, queso quesadilla cheese, or mozzarella.
There are many options for you to consider adding more flavor to the tacos.
- Sliced radishes
- Pico De Gallo
- Diced Onions
- Lime or Lemon Wedges
- Tortilla Chips
How To Make
The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
- Start by heating a generous tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and tomatoes, and sauté them for about 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. (Photo 1)
- Next, introduce the garlic to the mix and continue sautéing for an additional 3 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Now it’s time to add the chiles and pour half of the beef broth into the pot. (Photo 2)
- Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. While the mixture simmers, sear the beef in small batches. (Photo 3)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cubed beef with salt and pepper, and sear it in the hot oil until the sides are nicely browned (about 5-7 minutes) (Photo 4)
- Transfer the seared beef to a large bowl and set it aside.
- Once the broth mixture is done simmering, use a slotted spoon to remove the onions, tomatoes, garlic, and chiles from the pot and transfer them to a blender. (Photo 6)
- Add the remaining half of the plain beef broth to the blender, and blend the mixture until it becomes smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the Dutch oven along with the simmered broth. (Photo 7)
- Add the seared beef, apple cider vinegar, seasonings, and bay leaves. Stir everything together to combine. Bring the pot to a boil again, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3 hours or until the beef becomes tender. Remember, slow and steady cooking yields the best results. (Photo 8)
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Take the beef out of the pot and transfer it to a chopping board or large bowl. Use two forks to shred the beef into smaller pieces. (Photo 9)
- Reserve the beef sauce, or consommé, for dipping.
How to Assemble Tacos
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of oil to help crisp the tortillas. Dip each tortilla, one at a time, into the consommé, then place them onto the heated skillet. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Allow each tortilla to warm up on the skillet for approximately 1 minute. This step enhances their pliability for folding. On each tortilla, sprinkle a bit of crumbled or shredded cheese, followed by the shredded beef and another layer of cheese on top. (Photo 3)
- Adding cheese both at the bottom and top helps the taco maintain its shape when eaten. Carefully fold each taco in half. Pan-fry the shell on each side for an additional 1-2 minutes until it reaches the desired crispiness and the cheese melts. (Photo 4)
- Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas.
- Serve the quesabirria tacos immediately, accompanied by the reserved consommé for dipping. You can also add diced onions, cilantro, sliced radishes, jalapenos, lime wedges, and salsa as additional garnishes. Enjoy!
Tips from our Recipe Developer
- Using kitchen scissors is going to work best for cutting off the stems of peppers and helping to remove the seeds.
- If you want extra heat, then leave some of the seeds from the peppers in the dried peppers as you cook them on the stovetop.
- Once the beef is fully cooked, using two forks to shred the meat works well. Or if you own meat claws, you can use them as well. But shredding the meat and placing back in the sauce helps to flavor the meat even more.
- You can use any type of tortilla for this recipe. I have even used the low-carb tortillas, and they work well. I have seen others use the keto tortillas and have had success.
- Allow time for the tortilla to create a nice crispy shell to it in the pan; otherwise, your tortillas will be droopy and not hold shape when you go to pick them up.
- If you prefer pork reach for a pork shoulder roast or butt roast and use that in replace of beef. It will offer a very similar flavor.
- This makes a lot of food, so know there will be leftovers. Consider saving the meat and broth back for other recipes to use the meat in.
Store any of the meat with the consomme sauce in the fridge in a sealed, airtight container. It will store for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Place in a proper freezer container. Make sure to leave room as the liquid will expand when it freezes. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Warm up your meat and sauce in the microwave or on the stovetop. Both methods work; you will just reheat until the meat and sauce are both fully warmed. I find stovetop offers the best flavor for reheating.
What to Serve with birria tacos
Reach for some refried beans, rice, or a side of guacamole for pairing next to your tacos. This is a hearty meal and while some love sides others find the tacos are enough. Don’t forget to pair it with a margarita or two. Try my mango margarita or consider a classic strawberry margarita for sipping on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional birria tacos use goat meat, whereas quesabirria use beef or brisket for the meat. But you will find that depending on the recipe, they can be very similar in how to make.
Since you remove the seeds, you will find that these tacos are shockingly not that spicy. If you want spice, then leave some of the seeds in the peppers.
Birria is going to be a very soft and tender meat at the end. If you find your meat is chewy, then it is a sign you need to cook your meat longer. It is like a super tender fork-tender meat like a pot roast.
Need more Mexican recipes? Try these:
- Pico De Gallo (great topping for this taco recipe)
- Green Chile Corn Chowder
- Sopapilla Cheesecake
- See all our Cinco De Mayo recipes!
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 large white onion quartered
- 5 large tomatoes quartered
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled
- 6 dried guajillo chiles seeded and stems removed
- 4 dried ancho chiles seeded and stem removed
- 2-4 chili de arbol seeded and stems removed (optional for more spice)
- 4 cups beef broth divided
- 4 lbs. boneless beef chuck fat trimmed off and then cut into 2-3” cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 16 yellow corn tortillas
- 4 cups Oaxaca cheese queso quesadilla cheese, or mozzarella cheese
Optional additions for serving:
- Diced onions and cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Sliced radish
- Sliced jalapenos
- Tortilla chips
- In a Dutch oven you will cook over medium high heat. Add the oil and let the pan get hot. Then add in the onions and tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes.1 large white onion, 5 large tomatoes, 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Next add the garlic and saute for another 3 minutes, allowing the vegetables to become nice and fragrant.6-8 cloves garlic
- Then you will slice off the stems of the chiles and de-seed. Then add them into the pan along with half of the beef broth. Bring the pot to a boil.6 dried guajillo chiles, 4 dried ancho chiles, 2-4 chili de arbol, 4 cups beef broth
- Then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- As the chiles are simmering, sear the meat in small batches in a skillet. I added a tablespoon of oil and heated on medium high and then seared all the cubes of beef. You will cook 5-7 minutes. Don't cook all the way through, just create a nice sear.4 lbs. boneless beef chuck
- Once the broth is done simmering use a slotted spoon and remove the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and chiles. Place all that in a blender.
- Add the rest of the plain broth and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture back into the Dutch oven with the broth.
- Add in the seared beef, cider vinegar, seasonings, and bay leaves. Stir and let the pot come to a full boil.2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 bay leaves, ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Reduce to low and simmer covered for 3 hours or until the beef is tender. The longer you cook the richer the flavor and more tender the meat.
- Discard the bay leaves.
- Then remove the meat and use forks or meat claws to pull the meat and shred.
- Place the meat back into the sauce.
How to Assemble Tacos
- Heat a skillet on medium to medium high heat.
- Dip 3-4 tortillas at a time in the consomme sauce and then place them in the skillet. Do not overlap the tortillas.16 yellow corn tortillas
- Add meat and shredded cheese to half of each of the tortillas. Then add a bit more cheese on top.4 cups Oaxaca cheese
- Carefully fold each taco in half and pan fry the tortillas until they are golden and crispy.
- Repeat until you reach as many tacos as you want.
- Serve immediently with a side of the consomme sauce from the meat mixture. Then top with your favorite toppings.Diced onions and cilantro, Lime wedges, Sliced radish, Sliced jalapenos, Tortilla chips, Salsa
- Meat – A nice roast will work that has a marble of fat. When you go to shred the meat remove any fat that remains.
- Spice – If you want a spicy taco, leave some of the seeds from the peppers to create a bolder spice flavor.
- Pork – Swap the beef with a diced up pork roast if you prefer pork over beef.
- Consomme – The sauce is great for dipping your tacos as it really elevates the flavor. Plus, the sauce also adds so much flavor to the meat as it soaks up once shredded.
- Leftover Meat – Use leftover meat for making enchiladas, tacos, casseroles, and more. This meat is so versatile. Freeze or refrigerate the meat with the sauce for optimal flavor.